Why This Early Uber Investor Bought Bitcoin at Under $1 in 2009

Jeffrey Wernick, an independent investor, explains why he started to invest in the early stages of the cryptocurrency market.

Jeffery Wernick – The Anti-Centralization Investment Figure  

Jeffrey Wernick is a sixty-two year old investment guru that fell in love with economics and investing at a young age, gaining interest in the industry during high school. His first encounter with economics came in 1970-1971 when former U.S. president Nixon began to decouple gold from the U.S. dollar.

As he went through high school, he gained further interest in the industry, eventually deciding to study at one the homes of monetary economics, the University of Chicago. While studying at university, Wernick began to develop anti-centralization theories, believing that central banks should be accountable to society as a whole.

He elaborated in an interview with Business Insider‘s Sara Silverstein, stating:

I don’t support central banking to begin with, but if we’re going to have central banking, I’d rather have it accountable to society than a completely unaccountable, you know, run by technocrats. For people that espouse limited government, it’s sort of like, weird to have a central bank that’s not accountable to anybody or anything.

Since graduating at the University of Chicago, he has worked with Salomon Brothers and the National Bank of Detroit. Since leaving a desk job at financial institutions, he has become a rather successful independent investor, becoming an angel investor for Uber and Airbnb. 

Despite spending time at centralized financial institutions, his negative sentiment about central banks persisted, seemingly becoming a basis for his rationale for investing in general. 

Bitcoin Is “A People’s Currency”

According to the interview, Wernick noted that he had started acquiring Bitcoin in 2009, and has since expanded his cryptocurrency investments into altcoins.  The investor then gave three main reasons why he believes that Bitcoin is a viable investment vehicle and a solution to current issues with centralized currencies.

Firstly, Wernick lauded Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, pointing out that it isn’t issued by a central party, and that the rules are fixed for distribution. The Bitcoin protocol disallows a central party to create extra Bitcoin on a whim, ensuring that hyperinflation is impossible for the Bitcoin network. Secondly, the University of Chicago graduate recognized that Bitcoin is counterfeit resistant, with it being near impossible for a malicious actor to record a false transaction on the blockchain. He elaborated, adding:

So we have a currency that can’t be counterfeited, that we kind of know the rules under which how it’s created, and we know there’s a hard budget constraint in how many are gonna be issued. And its distribution through the system is not determined by any authority.

Last but not least, the investor pointed out that everyone has the opportunity to access the Bitcoin network, as it is uncensorable and open-source. He then closed off the interview by giving a powerful message about the most prominent cryptocurrency. He said:

So it’s a people’s currency, it’s defined by the people, and it’s defined by rules and a protocol that people trust. And I think in a world where people don’t trust anything anymore, that it’s good to have protocols that people trust that they control themselves, that are not controlled by third parties.

Does Wernick Have A Common Investment Strategy?

What’s one thing Airbnb, Uber, and Bitcoin have it common? The products used in the ecosystem aren’t owned by a central party, with these systems being semi-decentralized at the least. Airbnb doesn’t own user’s homes, apartments or condos, Uber doesn’t own the cars and transportation vehicles of drivers, and most importantly, no one entity can own the Bitcoin network.

Another thing three of Wernick’s investments have in common is that they were criticized heavily in their early stages, as people believed that they would fail. But it seems that Wernick has beat all the odds, and made three investments into semi-decentralized/decentralized systems which are continuing to grow at a rapid pace.

Warren Buffet once said:

Different people understand different businesses. And the important thing is to know which ones you do understand and when you’re operating within what I call your circle of competence.

It seems that Jeffery Wernick has capitalized on his opinions on centralization, and has turned it into a viable investment strategy which he understands and trusts.


SanFair Newsletter

The latest on what’s moving world – delivered straight to your inbox